Description: Extended interview of radio engineer Haraden Pratt, who was an amateur operator in San Francisco in the early 1900s and studied engineering at U.C. Berkeley, where he built the university's first radio station in 1914. Pratt worked at Mare Island Navy Yard, as well as Federal Telegraph Company, as chief engineer in the 1920s. Morgan used source material from these interviews with Pratt for her book, "Electronics in the West," published in 1967. The interview covers Pratt's personal story, but also the history of amateur radio, naval communications, and the early electronics industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. The interview covers Pratt's personal story, but also the history of amateur radio, naval communications, and the early electronics industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Part 1: Pratt discusses his childhood as the son of telegraph operators in San Francisco; the amateur wireless community pre-1914; early wireless telegraphy development; his student days at U.C. Berkeley; Federal Telegraph.
Part 2: Formation of De Forest Pioneers; post as Telecommunications Advisor to the President; work with Department of Commerce; future of scientific communication, invention, and collaboration in era of moral decline; super-heterodyne development (Armstrong, Levy); vacuum tube technology evolution; Marconi’s contributions to radio; radar in late 1920s-1930s.
Part 3: First ship-to-shore communication by Marconi; wireless telegraph industry in San Francisco Bay Area, including Federal Telegraph; growing up as a boy in turn-of-the-century San Francisco; uncle was involved in early stagecoach lines and became Assistant General Manager of Southern Pacific; wiring houses for Paul Siler; de Forest’s oscillator discovery with Logwood and Van Etten; de Forest and RCA.
Part 4: Armstrong, de Forest and RCA continued; future of electronics industry; advice for young men who want to become engineers; curriculum and teacher training required to train new generation. The interview ends at 26:34. The recording continues at 27:30 whereupon Pratt delivers an “informal and brief resume of the history of the Federal Telegraph Company.“
Call Number: 2003-47-16
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